There are a few things to ponder as the Buckeyes hit their first full week of camp starting today.
The Safety Situation. With Kurt Coleman and Anderson Russell both gone due to graduation, Jim Tressel will have a tough time replacing the veteran leadership that both possessed. In particular Coleman had morphed into a playmaker in the secondary an earned a 2009 all-American nod at safety. His presence and stability was key in helping the Buckeyes maintain one of the nation’s top defenses. This year Tressel may feature Aaron Gant and Jermale Hines as his is two starters, though sophomore Nate Oliver should push both for playing time as well as Tyler Moeller who returns after a viscous assault last year that left him with a serious head injury.
Targets for Pryor.
Last year QB Terrelle Pryor leaned heavily on WR Dane Sanzenbacher in the earlier portion of the season and Devier Posey late in the year. This year a priority of his should be to spread the ball the around more consistently. Though the Buckeyes are thin at the wide out position look for Taurian Washington to step up and play a bigger role in the offense or maybe freshman Chris Fields can steal a spot in the slot of the teams’ 3-wideout sets. Also don’t be surprised if tight end Jake Stoneburner gets a few more reps with Pryor to become a more valuable target on offense.
With Aaron Pettrey graduating it looked as if the kicking job belonged to Devin Barclay, that was until he had a miserable spring. So now if Barclay can’t right the ship within the next month Coach Tressel may go with either Punter Ben Buchanan or freshman Drew Basil. Other battles include the starting Left Tackle position as Mike Adams looks to jump ahead of Andrew Miller for the starting job. At linebacker look for Junior Etienne Sabino to lock up an outside linebacker spot with Ross Homan and Brian Rolle. Finally at running back Carlos Hyde is trying to earn carries in the backfield with Jordan Hall, Boom Herron and Brandon Saine.